High and low-impact exercises are both used to target specific training goals. Identifying what your personal needs and goals are will help you determine which types of exercises are best for you.
Low-impact exercises are exactly as it is stated – they are exercises that are low-impact on your joints. These types of exercises can include walking, swimming, yoga, cycling, or elliptical cardio. Anything that is easy on the joints or gentle and in fluid-motion is considered to be low-impact. Low-impact exercises are great for individuals who are new to working out. Low-impact exercises are also great for athletes who are injured or recovering from injury. Low-impact exercises also provide a gentle workout on your easy days and can aid in recovery of your harder days.
High-impact exercises are the opposite side of the spectrum. These exercises have high-impact on the joints. Examples of high-impact exercises include running, skiing and gymnastics. High-impact exercises put you at higher risk of injury, especially if your form is not correct. Acute athletic injuries are more often associated with high-impact exercises. Having a personal trainer or coach can help ensure that your high-impact exercises are done with proper form to prevent injury.
Low-impact exercises can also aid in the performance of high-impact exercises. Low-impact exercises can help build strength and flexibility around the joints to protect them better when you do perform something more strenuous. Stretching and yoga can help you recover faster from your more challenging workouts. Yoga and stretching can also build better core strength to help you perform more efficiently, have better posture and form while working out.
High and low-impact exercises are both important to overall fitness. Deciding which one is best for you will depend on your personal needs and goals. Talk to a personal trainer to help you determine which exercises are best for you and also to make sure you perform your exercises correctly.
To learn more about high and low-impact exercise methods, check out our Certifications page!